The War Remnants Museum...
November 26, 2006

What better way to hold your head down low at being an American than by starting the day off at the War Remnants Museum…

I don’t make it a secret that a lot of history lessons in school were lost on me as I was too busy passing notes or taking naps. Sad but true. In my
defense, the videos (which I am sure I would have learned a lot from) were always shown with the lights turned off which prompted my body into
nocturnal mode.

With regards to the Vietnam War (or ‘American War’ and ‘US War’ as it is known out here), I was really only aware of how unpopular it was and how
everybody said we should have never been there. While I knew a bit more, this was the main gist. I also knew of a few words/terms that were
associated with it: Tet Offensive, napalm, Agent Orange. But none of those things were really more than just words to me.

When I left this museum, I was left with one overwhelming impression: we essentially caused a Holocaust-of-sorts over here. It might sound
extreme but it was exactly what I was feeling. I had previously read up on the war before arriving in Vietnam and was blown away by the number of
casualties: while there were around one million dead amongst Vietnam troops, there were over two million civilian casualties.
Over two million
Vietnamese civilian casualties.

It’s one thing to hear about this; it’s another to see pictures taken of the victims right before they were killed.

You know how we found it beyond inhumane when members of Al Qaeda would take pictures of the beheaded victims they had kidnapped and
killed? Well, the American soldiers did that very same thing with the heads of the Vietnamese. They truly treated Vietnamese lives as if they had
virtually no worth whatsoever. My mind went straight to comparing this with what the Nazis did to the Jews.

And then, as an American, my mind could not help but think about what our country is currently doing in Iraq…

I have so many more opinions regarding this and our government’s need to act as if we have never wronged. Think about the news getting out about
the abuse at Abu Ghraib. We are
definitely committing immoral acts on others.

Okay, I am going to change the topic as I am getting a bit riled up…

Now let’s talk about the words ‘napalm’ and ‘Agent Orange’. Before today, that was all they really were to me: just words. Not only did I see the
bodily harm it did to the people that came into contact with these chemical bombs (Aussies, Kiwis and Americans were also victims of this), I saw the
bodily harm that is has inflicted on the next generation of Vietnamese. Words can not describe some of the disfigurement that these pictures showed.
Just proof that the effects of the war are still well alive.

In addition to rooms with prison cells and one room with a guillotine, there was also a room dedicated to the anti-America propaganda from around
the world at the time of the war. Americans can’t have a problem with this because after walking through the museum you know it was well-

I have to say that this museum left an impact on me. America has proved that you don’t have to be a communist country or have a dictator in order
to commit horrible acts of violence against innocent people. Does it mean anything to anybody that just about the entire world is against this war in
Iraq? Well, with the exception of England. I should say ‘the government in England’ as every English person I have met while traveling is anti-Blair
because of his being ‘in cahoots’ with America in this war.

Okay. I am officially done with my ranting.
Back to Vietnam.